Since then, a number of common assertions, or perhaps assumptions, about digital preservation have begun to worry me. No one person has said all these things, but increasingly they seem to be in the background of conversations. I will put these forward as a list of statements, but, in some respects at least, I think they are fallacies:
1. Digital preservation is very expensive [because]
2. File formats become obsolete very rapidly [which means that]
3. Interventions must occur frequently, ensuring that continuing costs remain high.
4. Digital preservation repositories should have very long timescale aspirations,
5. ‘Internet-age’ expectations are such that the preserved object must be easily and instantly accessible in the format de jour, and
6. the preserved object must be faithful to the original in all respects. […]
How about this?
1. Digital preservation is comparatively inexpensive, compared to preservation in the print world,
2. File formats become obsolete rather more slowly than we thought
3. Interventions can occur rather infrequently, ensuring that continuing costs remain containable.
4. Digital preservation repositories should have timescale aspirations adjusted to their funding and business case, but should be prepared for their succession,
5. “Internet-age” expectations cannot be met by most digital repositories; and,
6. Only desiccated versions of the preserved object need be easily and instantly accessible in the format de jour, although the original bit-stream and good preservation metadata or documentation should be available for those who wish to invest in extracting extra information or capability.